Here’s to the past!

Today I sat and fed each page patiently to the flames, and watched as days and weeks, months and years were transformed into ashes. Yes I burnt them all.

You see I woke up yesterday morning with a rather disturbing thought, and on my way to work I mulled it over and over in my mind. I had this unshakeable feeling that I was going to meet an abrupt and unexpected end. That I was going to die suddenly whilst going about my daily business. While that thought was terrible, death itself was not was terrified me.

Of course I didn’t want to die, but there were three things that bothered me the most about it; one was that I would die without having lived up to my full potential, another was that I would miss my family and loved ones, the third was that while going through my things, they would find my diaries.

I kept diaries from when was in high school till I finished my first degree in the university. Now everyone knows those are the crazy years, the years where you don’t really know yourself, and then you find yourself, only to lose yourself again. The drama-filled years; falling in and out of love, hating and loving passionately, suffering from all sorts of insecurities and doubts, not knowing what to do with your new found freedom, and consequently abusing it. Yes those were crazy years.

And through all this I wrote. I’ve always been a very private person; I never had a ‘best friend’ that I could share my thoughts and feelings or doubts and fears with. And so I wrote them down. Every night when I retired to bed, I would pull out my trustie old diary and write. The good times and bad times, emotional and academic trials and, how I felt about my budding breasts, how I felt my thighs were too fat. I wrote it all down.

And Now, so many years later, a mature confident woman(at least that’s what I like to tell myself) with a couple of degrees under her belt, and many lessons learnt from life’s school of hard knocks, I come across one of these diaries once in a while, and that confused, emotional  young girl makes me smile. Sometimes she makes me cry or laugh because I can recognize so much of her still in me.

Wounds that were fresh on that girl have become emotional battle scars that this woman wears with pride. I understand everything she went through because she was me. I celebrate her victories, and understand her failures. But I can’t help but wonder what others will think of her.

Will they understand her? Why she was filled with so much self doubt, why she chose to study performing arts instead of law which her parents wanted? Will they understand why the fear of being alone kept her in a loveless relationship so long after the love was gone? Will they condemn her for that one time she had too much to drink at that house party and was  violated? Will they understand that girl like I do, or will they turn up their noses and judge her?

But what will it matter if I’m dead? you ask. It shouldn’t, should it? But somehow I know it will. My spirit will feel violated, exposed. People might confuse the memory of this self assured woman with that emotional wreck of a girl, I doubt if they will try to understand her.

So I will not take the chance that they might meet her, into the flames the pages go. Now she only exists somewhere far from prying eyes and judging minds. She might even re-surface once in a while.

I wonder what else I wouldn’t want anyone to find when I’m gone. My mum probably won’t be too happy to find the secret stash of weed in my room, but what the heck, my ghost will probably have a few good laughs at her expense.

Too chicken to face the chickens

This world is a scary place. Terrorism, natural disasters, religious massacres, Crazy ‘okada’ riders, ‘agberos’, armed robbers, these are just some of the fears we have to live with. But being a born and bred ‘Lagosian’ I take it all in stride (well, almost all).

One fear I’ve been unable to conquer though, is of a different, less common kind; I’m scared of big birds, and by big I mean anything larger than a little chick. I’ve lived with this fear since I was a little kid and I used to have nightmares where I was being chased by huge chickens and I would always wake up with my heart pounding.

Needless to say this fear has led me into some very embarrassing situations in my lifetime, I have been laughed at by friends, family and even strangers.

It’s customary in Nigeria during holidays for friends and neighbours to gift each other with live poultry or cattle, and so growing up, Christmas and Easter holidays were quite traumatic for me as chickens and turkeys were continuously being brought to our house. My way of dealing with this was to run into my room and lock the door until my sister came to announce that the offending bird had been killed, and had begun the gradual journey that would terminate in our stomachs(insert evil laugh)

The funny thing is I have never had a problem with eating chicken or turkey, I luuuuv me some fried chicken with jollof rice, and I make a mean chicken sandwich.

I have tried(in my own way) to overcome this fear by committing the occasional act of bravery such as touching a recently killed chicken with its feathers still unplucked, or strolling really close to a gathering of chickens(with a large stick in my hand for protection)

I am fully aware by now how irrational this fear is, but that doesn’t make any less real. Will I ever get over it? i sincerely hope so. This irrational fear, has allowed me to understand the phobias of other people. It’s pretty easy to laugh at how unreasonable some fears seem, but people are really scared of these things and will go through  great, and sometimes stupid, lengths to avoid them.

Apparently there is a name for my type of fear: ornithophpbia. Derived from the greek words for birds-ornithos and fear-phobos.

It’s not as common as other animal fears such as fear of snakes and rats, or fear of bugs (insects and spiders), but it is just as valid. Its funny that a lot of people find it weird that I fear chickens, but I’ll pet a dog without hesitation.

I just discovered there’s a specific word for fear of chickens; Alektorophobia.So I guess I suffer from both, alektorophobia and ornithophobia.Not good.

I guess it could be worse though. There was a woman on Oprah once who was scared of ….wait for it…Buttons!! WTF? Ok, ok I’m not mocking her fear, but BUTTONS??? To each his/her demons I guess.

I’ve decided to face my fear, try and overcome it in little doses. There’s an old Alfred Hitchcock movie: ’The Birds’1963 featuring packs of wild birds on a mission to peck everyone’s eyes out. Wow! that shouldn’t be too painful to watch, So I’ve decided that the next step on my path to an ornithophobia free existence(if indeed such a thing exists for me)is to watch this movie, that’s assuming I can sit through the damn thing.

The experience will either scar me permanently, ensuring I become a quivering wreck every time I set my eyes on a bird, or embolden me a new found courage to face my winged demons. Whichever one it is, we’ll find out.

In other news, i’m really craving nutella on toast with bananas.yumyy!cant wait till i get home.

You!Get in my belly!

Pregnant women annoy me

Okay, I’ll just come right out and say it. i love kids, and babies  cute even though they’re always scrunched up in the face and wailing about something or the other, but some pregnant women reallybug me. There is no creature in the world more narcissistic than a pregnant woman. Most of them are constantly talking about themselves. Constantly!
I know its not an easy condition to bear: flatulence, high blood pressure, back pain, crazy hormones…..but it can get really annoying listening to them go on and on and on about it, every conversation goes right back to the fact that they are pregnant. i grit my teeth when I hear them say stuff like “you’re not a real woman till you’re pregnant”.Really??? Lady you don’t have any special powers just because you stayed in place long enough for a man to plant a seed in you. It actually takes more diligence and advanced thinking NOT to get pregnant. You are just going through a phase many female mammals go through.
That’s right, most fertile females can get pregnant after the male takes care of his business. This is no great feat I assure you.
Now I have never been pregnant and I definitely hope to be someday, I don’t know what I’ll be like when I am. Pregnancy will probably turn me into one of these women i’m talking about, but the knowledge of that fact doesn’t make them any less annoying.

Here’s a hilarious article about pregnancy:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/woman- overjoyed-by-giant-uterine-parasite,2266/

 

Just another friday afternoon

So i have Nina Simone on repeat at work today.Ahhh that woman!Greatness!!!Sometimes i forget i have my earphones in and i sing out loud, and then i catch weird stares from my colleagues.”Funkier than a mosquito’s tweeter” came on and i knew i couldnt sit still.So i stood up and jiggled a bit.Well till i started feeling a little self conscious and sat my ass down.

In my ideal situation though, one or two people would have joined in and then others, till we had the whole office doing a perfectly choreographed routine, then people from other floors would join in and then we’d have the whole building grooving.A pianist and drummer would appear from nowhere, and the dance would climax with me doing a  split or something equally dramatic.

No such luck though, i look around me and its business as usual.I wonder what i’m doing here right now.My feet are itching to be out there, to be on the bustling set of a broadway show, or swinging in a hammock in cape verde finishing my book. All in good time, i think.All in good time.

In other news,I’m craving catfish peppersoup, done naija style,with some pieces of yam.

ahhh!get in my mouth now!

Nigerian cuisine is the best!Period!

Hedonism 101

Okay first of all for those who dont know; Hedonism is a school of thought associated with the greek philosopher Epicurus. Epicurus believed pleasure was the greatest good. He wrote in his Letter to Menoeceus, “Pleasure is the starting-point and goal of living blessedly.” He also wrote that “pleasure is our first innate good.” However, Epicurus was not a fan of most of the activities commonly associated with pleasure. Constant partying, alcohol, sex, and even food would not have counted as pleasant for him. Thus, to understand Epicurus’s hedonism, it is necessary to understand what he meant by “pleasure.” Pleasure is the absence of pain. Epicurus wrote that ‘pleasure is the starting point of a blessed life, and he wrote that a blessed life is, “health of the body and the freedom of the soul from disturbance.” Thus, anything that promotes health and limits disturbance of the soul is blessed, and anything that disrupts health or disturbs the soul is pain. Pleasure is, for Epicurus, simply getting rid of unhealthy things and disturbing things. In other words, pleasure simply is the absence of pain, no more, no less. The word ‘HEDONIST’ has been subjected to sooo many interpretations and misunderstandings.People hear the word and think of things like gluttony and immorality.

A friend of mine even said it sounded like something you would call a satan worshipper.lmao! Ok lets face the truth shall we? At some level or the other, we are all hedonists.Every fuckin one of us. And by ‘us’ i mean sane adults who make decisions in our daily lives.We may not all consiously and actively pursue hedonism, but we all make decisions in our daily lives that maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Some of us just have a better time doing it:)). For example you give money to a beggar on the streets, you may fool yourself into thinking you’re being selfless but the truth is you are benefitting something from that gesture;the act itself makes you ‘feel good’, you benefit self-satisfaction.Face it!you’re a hedonist. The only difference between us is that i ‘actively’ seek pleasure. You could call me a ‘conscious hedonist’ i seek pleasure actively and try as much as possible to minimize pain for myself and anyone else.I dont hide behind a mask of ethics, religion or some ol bullshit, I please myself:)) Though this may make me seem selfish at times, fortunately the things that bring me pleasure generally bring pleasure to most people,well except the sadists, puritans, religious fanatics,pessimists and a host of those ‘types’ i dont give a flying fart about. Most times its not even about mere transient passive pleasures like sex and chocolate(although those are veryyyy important), achievements and personal fulfillment are also pleasures i pursue actively,these are pleasures that are deeper and more enduring and which i have devoted my life to pursuing. Cos if you really break it down, who enjoys displeasure?(i’m talkin bout sane people here). So i enjoy life….shoot me! You should too, it’ll end soon enough. Actively seek nourishment of your body and soul, indulge your senses when you can.Dont just eat, breathe,work and sleep,enjoy every second of it. But if u cant bring out the hedonist in you, its ok to live vicariously through me:)))

Art or trash?

Stumbled upon the beautiful Art of Jason DeCaires Taylor, he’s known for working with natural habitats and his interest in underwater naturalism and photography, has resulted in some very unique art.Absolutely amazing stuff!below are some images from one of his projects that blew my mind! Its called Silent Revolution.

Got me thinking though, Art comes in so many forms these days;food art, body art, art in the sky, blood art.someone somewhere is probably using faeces for art. Where do we draw the line?e is there even a line?is anything acceptable as art,as long as the artist says it is art? Being a creative individual myself, I appreciate art in many forms, but i cant help but wonder what we’ll see next in the name of artistic freedom. Here are some examples of ‘unconventional’ art:

By our very own 'dilomprizulike' The junkman of Africa

Justin Quinnell inserted a camera in his mouth and sold the photos as Art

i’m thinking i should do something with my nail clippings, if someone hasnt already beaten me to it.Hey you heard it here first!